sakm wrote:I have read this thread from the start and I for one will enable viglink
Although I really don't understand why you can't put a donation link on phpBB.com after all there is extensions for it!
I also think it is wrong that viglink is bundled with the software and it should be released as an extension as an option for users to install and enable to support phpBB.
To me its as if you are praying users don't notice that they have to disable it resulting in more funding for phpBB which don't get me wrong would be great for phpBB but users should have the choice to enable it to support phpBB or install the extension.
Also why has this never had a discussion thread to see what the users want? having a discussion about it with the users would have given you a better understanding of what the users want and as to whether they would enable it in the first place.
It's pretty clear by some of the replies that users feel as though this is being pushed upon us rather than an option and yes I know you can disable it and uninstall it but that's not the point!
I would like to see some improvements with viglink being enabled! like some paid staff to help authors with extensions and styles or to make current extensions work with future releases. After all everyone is a volunteer and do this in their spare time so a little support for them wouldn't go amiss.
We've mentioned a few times previously about donations and the reasons why we don't have this setup. It's something we've certainly considered many times but decided against on the basis of a few reasons which I'll summarise for you however I would thank you for your kindness and willingness to donate to the project.
- Without being a 501(c) non-profit we would be taxed on any donations income reducing the amount we'd actually receive. We are at the moment looking into whether or not we should change our legal status, after which we may re-evaluate.
- With every donation there is an amount of work that must be done by phpBB team members in order to reconcile those payments, further to this it adds to the amount of work our accountants have to do each year raising costs. Of course, this would be entirely worth it if all donations were large donations but a large number of small donations could in the end (after taxes, accountant costs and man hours of handling) end up giving us almost no tangible benefit.
- Whilst this topic has had a great response regarding donations, it's still not obvious that it would raise significant amounts of revenue over longer periods.
- We would have to pay our lawyers in order to set this up in order to ensure it's water-tight in terms of us ensuring those donating will not receive anything back. Therefore we'd want to ensure we'd get enough back to at least cover our costs.
In summary, it may raise us revenue, however it's not as trivial to organise as it might first appear and would be unlikely to raise nearly as much as something like VigLink could (which doesn't involve people spending anything).
Regarding the 'hoping nobody will notice'; as previously noted, there are a couple of bugs with the current system in that functionality is enabled if you click away from the page and if you use the database update script whilst logged in you're not sent to this page. Both of these things we'll be fixing so that Viglink is never enabled without your express and explicit wish to enable it.
The only reason we want to raise more money for the project is so that we can make phpBB a better product to benefit you, our users; so it makes no sense to be sneaky towards you.
With regards to what we do with revenue raised, as previously mentioned this all goes back into working on the project for example through things like hackathons where large numbers of team members get together and work on phpBB for a few days (and these have proven to be very successful in the past); and VigLink raising money for the project allows us to keep doing this kind of thing, hopefully more often into the future.
Also, as this is an official extension that has been in development for a couple of years (first commit Oct 14) what hasn't it been placed in the 'In Development' forum for discussion prior to it being shipped with 3.2.0?
A suspicious person might think that you were worried about negative feedback making it impossible for you to release it.
Yourself and a number of others have asked why there wasn't a discussion, but that's what we're trying to have here and we're doing it separately from a release (3.2.0 isn't here yet) although we have included it in RC2 in order to test it (and we found a couple of bugs). We didn't create a topic in the extensions in development forum because (1) we often don't create topics for official extensions until they have their initial feature sets and often a release (2) we wanted to be able to explain what the extension was for in a larger open transparent forum (the blog) from the beginning as opposed to hiding it in a topic in the extensions forums.
We initially started internally looking into this with Viglink back in 2014, hence the extension repository has existed for so long but it was only finished very recently (Marc and I finished some bits off together when we were together at the beginning of December) as our partnership with Viglink took both discussions with VigLink about the partnership and the technical implementation to be completed on our side.